Seven-Run 5th Powers Pippins to Win
GRESHAM, Ore. – On Saturday night, the Gresham GreyWolves came to bat in the bottom of the 5th inning in a 1-1 game. After the three outs had been recorded by the Pippins in the frame, the GreyWolves had taken a commanding 8-1 lead that they did not relinquish in rolling to a 10-4 win. On Sunday, the 5th inning once again took center stage, but this time around, it was the Pippins who did the damage. A night after Gresham had scored seven runs in the home half of the 5th inning, the Pippins returned the favor with seven of their own in the same frame, to take a commanding lead that they were able to hold onto, after a late rally by Gresham, en route to a 10-8 road win on Sunday night.
The GreyWolves (9-14) got on the board in the 1st inning for the second consecutive night, this time pushing two runs across against Pippins starter, A.J. Landis (Colorado Mesa). In the 2nd inning, Gresham was at it again, scoring another two runs to take a 4-0 lead into the 3rd.
The Pippins (8-11) began to chip away at the deficit, getting on the board in the 3rd inning via an RBI sacrifice fly from Steve Sordahl (St. Martin’s), which plated Tyler Sandoval (Colorado Mesa) who had doubled earlier in the frame. In the 4th, an RBI groundout from Tora Otsuka (San Diego) brought home Lucas Denney (Seattle U), to halve the deficit and make it 4-2 headed to the 5th.
The 5th inning began with a bang for the Pippins, with Bradlee Beesley (Cal Poly-SLO) homering to left to cut the deficit to one. After a pair of outs and a Denney walk, Otsuka came to the plate once again, and promptly smashed his first home run of the season, a towering shot over the right field wall, to give the Pippins their first lead of the night at 5-4. The Pippins, however, were not satisfied with a three run frame, as a two out rally ensued with a single from Nick Plaia (Cal Baptist) and a Sandoval walk. Jonny DeLuca (Oregon) then laced an RBI single into right to plate Plaia and make the score 6-4. Sordahl followed with another RBI single to score Sandoval and give the Pippins a three run edge. Dillon Plew (Washington State) topped it all off with a two-run single double the right field line to plate both DeLuca and Sordahl, which gave the Pippins a convincing 9-4 lead heading to the 6th.
Unfortunately, the all too familiar trend of a big lead slipping away continued as Gresham plated three runs in the 6th to make it a 9-7 game. Then, in the 8th, they were at it again, scoring another run to make it a one run game.
Needing an insurance run, the Pippins once again got the big hit from Otsuka, lacing a rocket into left field that scored Denney, who had doubled to begin the frame, which gave the Pippins a 10-8 lead.
Kyle Nicol (Cal State Northridge) came on for the save in the 9th and set the GreyWolves down in order to preserve the 10-8 win as the Pippins evened up the series.
Game Notes: Landis went 5 1/3 innings and allowed six runs (four earned) on nine hits, but received plently of run support to earn his first win of the season and improve his record to 1-1. Christian Peters (Portland) allowed the two home runs in the 5th to Beesley and Otsuka and took the loss for Gresham, falling to 0-3. Nicol, making his first appearance since June 12, earned the save, his first of the season, by throwing a scoreless 9th with a strikeout.
With seven runs in the 5th inning, the Pippins matched their largest scoring single inning this season. The Pippins also scored seven runs in the bottom of the 6th inning in a home win against Victoria on June 3. With two home runs in the 5th inning, the Pippins hit two home runs in one inning for the first time in franchise history.
Beesley’s home run was his second of the season. He tied Lucas Denney for the team lead with two after Denney hit one out in Saturday’s loss. The Pippins have now hit eight home runs on the season with five coming on the road. The two home runs in one game is their second multi home run game this season as they also hit two on June 7 in a win over Bellingham.
What’s Next: The rubber game of the series is Monday night. Pippins left-hander, Josh Tedeschi (Utah), will make his fourth start against the GreyWolves’ right-hander, Alex Roth (Western Oregon), with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. at Oslund Field.
ABOUT THE PIPPINS: The Yakima Valley Pippins compete in the West Coast League, one of the nation’s premier summer collegiate wood bat leagues. The Pippins play their home games at Yakima County Stadium (“The Orchard”) in Yakima, Washington. After winning 96 games during their first three seasons in the WCL, the Pippins set the mark as the winningest WCL expansion team after three years. Yakima County Stadium will play host to the 2017 West Coast League All-Star Game, along with an extensive 31-game home season for Year No. 4 of Pippins' Baseball in 2017. Read more online at PippinsBaseball.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube with #ThatWasAwesome.